GUEST FEATURE: J-Lo ( aka the HPP Guru) ‘s Healthy Hot Pot (Vegetarian)

J-Los Hot Pot

OH my GOODNESS. This dish is seriously yummy and so nutritionally dense. J-Lo, my coworker, surprised me with a bowl of this amazing dish today at work. I had to ask her to share her recipe!

With no added sugar…. I give you my version of a hot pot. No rice noodles are used in this dish either. This will ensure you get the most nutrition coming from the barley!


4 cups low sodium veggie broth

1 28oz can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar

2 tbs sriracha sauce

1/2 head Savoy cabbage thinly chopped

2 cups chopped oyster mushrooms

2 Chinese eggplants diced into quarters

1 yellow onion

1 tbsp dried basil

Coarse Salt and pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1 cup pot barley

1 package (12 oz.) medium or firm tofu cut into 1×1 cm cubes


Combine broth, tomatoes, vinegar, sriracha sauce and 1 cup water in large pot. Add vegetables, cover and bring to a boil. Add basil and barley and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 min. You can cook longer if you like softer barley but I like mine a little crunchy.

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Don’t under season. This is a big mistake people make. I added approximately 1 tbsp of salt and 2 tsp cracked pepper.

Add tofu and simmer for 5 min more.

Turn off heat and add cilantro.

Serve and enjoy!

Don’t be alarmed if it thickens tomorrow. That’s just the barley absorbing more liquid. 🙂


Everyone this is a must-try dish! A big thank-you to J-Lo for sharing…You da best! 


Rainbow Salad ft. A Sweet Honey Lemon Dressing

Rainbow Salad

Rainbow Salad (Serves ~4-6):
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 head of red cabbage, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
6 radishes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 gala apple, chopped with skin
1 avocado, peeled & sliced into cubes
1 cup of cooked quinoa, chilled
Optional: 1/2 cup almonds/nuts

1. Cook sprouted quinoa first according to package instructions (use 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa).
2. Allow quinoa to chill after cooking.
3. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Add the quinoa. Store in the refrigerator while making the dressing.

Sweet Honey Lemon dressing:
Sweet Honey Lemon Dressing
Ingredients (combine in a lidded container):
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tsp lemon
2 tbsp dijon mustard

Mix and shake ingredients in container. Add to the salad according to taste.

Tip of the day: Making your own dressings at home allows you to avoid added sugars and preservatives that are used in almost ALL commercial salad dressings. You don’t NEED refined sugars in a dressing for it to taste great! Try to make your own if you have the time otherwise, look toward buying salad dressings from the natural food isle in the grocery store.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Saturday 🙂

Cajun Honey Glazed Chicken Salad ft. Roasted Beets

Cajun Honey Glazed Chicken Salad

Woooo this warm weather has got me PUMPED up. Nothing beats summer meals and barbecuing! Tonights menu included BBQ’ed chicken and BBQ’ed roasted beets on a bed of kale greens and many other nutrition boosters.

This recipe is for 3 people:

For the Cajun Honey Glazed Chicken:
3 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cajun seasoning
+ 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Light the BBQ (med-high heat).
2. Combine and mix ingredients — coat 3 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts with the glaze.
3. Place on the BBQ. Cook thoroughly (~20 minutes) until no pink throughout.

For the Roasted BBQ’ed Beets
You will need:
1 or 2 large beets.
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper

1. Scrub and wash the beets.
2. Slice into thin wedges. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 2 minutes to pre-cook.
3. On a piece of tin foil, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.
4. Add the pre-cooked beets. Add 1 more tbsp of olive oil drizzled evenly on top of beets.
5. Sprinkle with ~1/4 tsp ground sea salt and 1 tsp ground pepper.
6. Add on the BBQ wrapped in tinfoil with the chicken. Cook for ~10 minutes — Until you can poke with a fork and they are soft 🙂

For the salad:
1/2 bunch of kale, washed and massaged, chopped
1 cup spinach
1/3 cup maple glazed pecans
1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 a large cucumber, chopped
1 small avocado, diced.

Distribute salad equally, add beets on top, and slice each chicken breast to add on top also.
Use your own favourite dressing or make a quick little homemade Balsamic like I did:

Balsamic dressing:

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp natural honey
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed

Sprouted Quinoa Salad ft. Broccoli, Maple Glazed Nuts, Edamame, ETC!

Quinoa Salad - Broccoli

I freaking love quinoa! Have you been able to tell throughout my blog posts?

I tossed this salad together to have as a side with dinner this past week.

Ingredients (serves ~8):
1 cup uncooked sprouted quinoa, cook according to package directions.
1 cup broccoli, chopped finely, steam in a covered container in the microwave with 2 tbsp water.
1/2 cup edamame beans, from frozen (will thaw in the salad during preparation)
3 green onions, diced/chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup Maple Glazed Pecans (directions below)
Homemade Dijon Balsamic Dressing to taste. (directions below)

Maple Glazed Pecans:
You will need:
1/2 cup pecans
3 tbsp maple syrup
Directions: In a small pan put 1/2 cup pecans and pour 3 tbsp maple syrup evenly on them — to coat the nuts. Put the burner on medium heat. When the maple syrup begins to bubble, turn the burner off. Allow the nuts to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove the nuts from the pan and allow them to dry with the maple syrup coating on parchment paper.

(Mix in a separate bowl — add to salad to taste)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup 2

8 large carrots, skinned, chopped
3.5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 white onions, chopped
1.5 tbsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of nutmeg
Ground pepper and salt to taste.

1. Put chopped carrots in a small pot with water and bring to a boil. Allow to cook thoroughly until soft throughout. When soft, drain the carrots.
2. In a large soup pot, combine chicken broth and onions and bring to a boil. Once boiled, lower to medium heat and add in the cooked carrots.
3. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup mixture until you reach an even puree consistency.
4. Stir in the ginger, garlic, nutmeg, pepper & salt.
5. Allow to simmer on low for ~2 hours.

Carrot Ginger Soup 1

Vegetable Bean Soup

veggie soup

Combine in a large pot:
1 carton (900mL) Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 large can diced tomatoes (796mL)
1 red onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 large sweet potato, diced
1 large carrot, skinned & chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (540mL) kidney beans
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup “9-Bean Soup” Lentils (can find at costco)
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese


1.Combine ingredients in order as given and stir.
2. Bring to a boil, stir regularly.
3. Then allow to sit on low for at least an hour, stir occasionally. The flavours will all blend nicely.
4. Enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup 🙂

Cold Quinoa and Beet Salad


1 Box Whole grain Quinoa
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 large cucumber, skinned and chopped
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup edamame, frozen
1/2 cup beets, pickled, chopped
1/4 cup chickpeas, drained & washed
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp natural honey
1 tsp of lemon juice

1. Cook quinoa. Allow to cool. Put into bowl.
2. Add in all other salad ingredients and mix.
3. In a separate small bowl, make dressing.
4. Add the dressing to the salad to taste. I always have left over dressing. This recipe only required a little bit of dressing. It had a great natural flavour.
5. Store in the refrigerator until edamame is thawed and to allow flavours to blend.
5. ….and Enjoy!